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How to Clean Your Bong

Guide to Cleaning Your Bong

Cleaning your bong is essential for pure and tasty hits. After a few sessions with your favorite water pipe, resin, tar, and debris will begin to build up in the main chamber. Your downstem and bowl will become coated with dark, sticky residue.

There are many ways to fight this build-up! Read on to discover the easiest ways to get your bong sparkling again.

When is it time to clean your bong?

Some bongs show wear and dirt more than others.

With glass bongs, for example, you can see resin and tar start to coat your piece. Your glass will become cloudier, and that sticky build-up on your bowl, downstem, and main piece will start to affect the flavor of your smoke.

With ceramic and silicone bongs, it is more difficult to tell. Without being able to see through the material, tar and resin build-up is less obvious and easier to forget. With bongs like these, it’s better to establish a frequent routine rather than waiting until you notice it needs a cleaning.

For consistently clean and tasty hits, clean your bong once every one to two weeks, and change your bong water after each session.

How to clean a bong with baking soda

Baking soda is one of the most straightforward ways to clean your bong. Follow these instructions to learn how to use baking soda to get your bong looking brand new.

  1. Remove bowl and downstem. Place these pieces in a separate sandwich bag.
  2. Pre-rinse. Add warm water to the main piece of your bong and shake to remove some of the buildup.
  3. Add hot water. Start by adding hot water to both the chamber of your bong and your sandwich bag. Pour hot water into the chamber of your main bong piece as well.
  4. Add baking soda. Throw a couple of tablespoons of baking soda into the mouthpiece of your bong. Add some to your sandwich bag as well.
  5. Shake. Cover the holes and shake until your bong, bowl, and downstem are sufficiently coated with the baking soda/water paste.
  6. Wait. Let your glass pieces soak in the mixture for an hour or two--or overnight, depending on how dirty your glass is.
  7. Rinse. Using warm water, rinse off the baking soda paste. Use a long cleaning brush to help you get off any sticky, persistent buildup.

Baking soda is an eco-friendly solution to dirty bongs, but it’s not the only solution. Lemon juice and vinegar can also be used as a natural substitute for the traditional isopropyl alcohol method.

How to clean a bong with lemon juice

Lemon juice is a natural astringent that helps break down resin and tar build-up in your bong.

  1. Boil water. Bring enough water to a boil to fill the chamber of your bong.
  2. Remove bowl and downstem. You know the drill: place these in a separate plastic bag.
  3. Add lemon. Using either fresh lemon or a bottle of juice, pour lemon juice into the chamber of your bong. Add some to the sandwich bag with your bowl and downstem as well.
  4. Add hot water. Carefully pour boiling water into your bong and sandwich bag. Be sure that your glass isn’t cold to prevent cracking.
  5. Shake. Cover the holes and shake.
  6. Let sit. Let the lemon do its work! Let your bong rest for five minutes, an hour, or overnight depending on how dirty your bong is.
  7. Rinse. Using warm water and a cleaning brush, rinse the lemon solution away with any dirt and buildup.

Lemon will not only keep your bong smelling fresh: it is a natural, acidic method for removing difficult build-up in your bong.

How to clean your bong with alcohol

Using isopropyl alcohol is potentially the most common method for cleaning a bong. Combining isopropyl alcohol with coarse salt is an efficient way to remove tough stains and build-up of resin.

  1. Remove the downstem and bowl. Place them in a sandwich bag.
  2. Add isopropyl alcohol. Pour enough alcohol into the bag to submerge the bowl and downstem. 
  3. Add hot water. Add about two tablespoons of hot water to both the bag and the bong.
  4. Add salt. Ensure that you are using coarse salt to clean your bong. The coarseness helps to wear away stains and buildup.
  5. Shake. As always: cover any openings and shake to make sure the solution covers the entirety of the bong.
  6. Let sit. Let your bong sit in the solution for a few hours or overnight.
  7. Rinse. Use warm water to rinse your bong out. Use a cleaning brush to rub away any remaining buildup.

Using isopropyl alcohol and salt to clean your bong is popular for a reason: it’s simple, effective, and straightforward.

How to clean your bong with vinegar

Using vinegar combined with baking soda is another eco-friendly way to clean your bong.

  1. Remove the downstem and bowl. You know the drill by now: place them in a separate sandwich bag.
  2. Rinse. Rinse out your bong with warm water. 
  3. Add baking soda. Pour baking soda into the bong’s mouthpiece. Make sure to coat the piece as much as possible: the baking soda should cling to the moisture remaining in your bong. Make sure to coat your bowl and downstem, too.
  4. Add vinegar. Here’s the fun part: pour vinegar into your bong (and sandwich bag) and watch the mixture fizz.
  5. Shake. Cover the openings and give your bong (and the sandwich bag) a good shake. Make sure the glass is coated in the mixture.
  6. Scrub. Use a long brush to scrub the glass. Scrubbing will help to release the stickiest build-up.
  7. Rinse. Rinse your bong with warm water. Let it dry before using it again.

For a little extra oomph, add some lemon juice to your vinegar and baking soda mixture.

FAQs

What can I use to clean my bong other than alcohol?

Lemon, vinegar, and baking soda are all more natural, eco-friendly ingredients that can be used to clean your bong.

How do you clean a bong without vinegar?

Use hot water and baking soda or lemon juice to clean your bong without vinegar. 

Can you boil a bong to clean it?

Yes, conditionally. You can use boiling water to clean your bong, or you can submerge your bong in water and bring it to a slow boil. Make sure to keep a careful eye on the glass and slowly raise the temperature. You don’t want your glass to crack!

To sum it up

Whether you’re using lemon juice, vinegar, or isopropyl alcohol, cleaning your bong is an essential chore to add to your routine. Cleaning your bong regularly will keep your glass looking fresh while ensuring you get the purest, tastiest hits.